Saginaw Spirit return to the Dow Event Center for game 3 of their best of seven series with Sault Ste. Marie tonight

The Spirit must win to extend their 2015 playoff run

Posted In: Sports, Saginaw Spirit,   By: Jason Marcoux

01st April, 2015     0

The No. 8 seed Saginaw Spirit will be looking to extend its 2015 Ontario Hockey League post season beyond four games when they host the top-seed Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for game 3 of their best-of-seven playoff series at the Dow Event Center tonight. The puck is set to drop at 7:11p.m. at Wendler Arena.

 

The Spirit dropped the first 2 games of their western conference playoff series this past weekend at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Greyhounds took the first game 5-1 Friday and followed with an impressive 8-2 win Saturday, taking a decisive 2 game lead in the first round of the 2015 OHL playoffs.

 

The Spirit (61 points) limped into the post-season after beating out the Plymouth Whalers (53 points) and Windsor Spitfires (52 points) for the eighth and final western conference spot in the 2015 OHL playoffs. Sault Ste. Marie, however, are not just the top ranked team in the OHL playoffs (110 points) but are also the top team in the entire Canadian Hockey League. The CHL consists of 60 teams from the three major junior hockey leagues in North America; the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Ontario Hockey League.

 

The Greyhounds had a 3-0 lead Friday night until late in the second period when Spirit LW Connor Brown took advantage of a Darnell Nurse tripping penalty and scored a power play goal at 15:25 to get his team on the board. Just 20 seconds later, at 15:45, the Spirit would go on the power play again after Soo defenseman Connor Boland was whistled for a roughing penalty. Greyhound center Jared McCann dashed any hopes of a Spirit comeback when he scored a shorthanded goal at 17:23 of the second period.

 

Saturday night, the Greyhounds scored 5 power play goals (3 in the first period) in front of 4,664 fans at the Essar Centre as they coasted to an 8-2 win to take a two-game lead in the playoffs. Spirit winger Artem Artemov scored a power play goal at 4:03 of the second period and Michael Holmes added a tally later in the second to get the Spirit to within four goals heading into the third period, but the Greyhounds added two more insurance goals in the third period for the 8-2 win. Saginaw goalie Evan Cormier stopped 44-of the-52 shots he faced in net for the Spirit Saturday.

 

The Spirit are going to have to find a way to put more pressure on Greyhound goalie Brandon Halverson when they return to Saginaw tonight. The Spirit had a combined total of just 44 shots in the first two games. They managed just 26 shots in game-1 Friday night, and a minuscule 18-shots in game-2 Saturday night against the Greyhounds. If the Spirit are to avoid an early exit in the 2015 OHL playoffs they will have to manage more than 18 shots in their game tonight.   

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